Tag Archives: German Bearded Iris

Friday Reflections

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

The weather has been ideal for gardening this week and I have put in a few hours each day and nearly all day on Thursday.  There are so many tasks that need attention that no matter which one I set out to do, I am finding it hard not to become distracted and end up working on something else.

I have been planting seeds, bulbs, perennials and dahlias.  I must have really craved color and flowers this winter, but it is hard to know where I imagined I could plant everything I ordered.

As part of my “Friday reflections” I wrote and then deleted paragraphs about weeds, bermuda grass infestations, yellow jacket nests. Sharing the positive highlights of the garden is more exciting.

Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)

Dianthus Ideal Select Mix

This week I have seen butterflies: monarch, black swallowtail, and a pearl crescent (every day). None was interested in posing for me or even getting close so the image quality is poor, but I want to post them here as a record.

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

I was pleased to see a Bumble Bee checking out the ‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe.

Bumble Bee and ‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

Bumble Bee and ‘Pride of Gibraltar’ Hummingbird Cerinthe

A green anole sunned on the back garage steps and scurried just for a moment each time I passed, before settling back into its sunny spot.

Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)

More irises opened and others are close. This is one my garden blogger friend from Petals and Wings (now mostly on instagram) sent me last fall. I’m not sure if they will bloom this year but they are growing and look healthy. The variegated foliage caught my attention and the flower is purple/blue.

Iris (passalong)

Iris (passalong)

Many of my Iris tectorum have disappeared in the past couple years, so I am especially happy to welcome this one back.

Iris tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris)

Another iris of note, this one is one of the only ones I have actually purchased.

Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’

Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’

Iris germanica ‘Raspberry Blush’

Hope you are having a wonderful week in and out of the garden.

Flowers And Other November Ephemera

Today there was a very early morning light rain, followed by fog—a mostly gray, dreary but mild day. The clouds lifted a short time before sunset and the sky colored a bright clear blue, before mixing with apricot, red and orange hues.

A few minutes earlier I went out to inspect the Irises–the ones that have been reblooming for several weeks. As welcome as they are I do find it unsettling to see Irises (and many neighbors’ Azaleas) flowering at this time of year.  This is an unknown cultivar passed-along by a friend. The bud is lavender but opens to white. [Note: November 9, 2013. Thanks to P&B at Petals and Wings for identifying this Iris in her comment below as ‘Immortality’ –the only reblooming white Iris.]

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)--the bud is lavender color

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)–the bud is lavender color

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

Iris germanica (Bearded iris)

In September I had expected the Jackmanii Clematis to flower again but it did not. Today I found one perfect flower under the shelter of neighboring Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly Grass).  This Clematis has interesting seed heads also.

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

Clematis 'Jackmanii' seed head

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’ seed head

Surprisingly the Ginger Lily still has several blooms even after the October frost. The leaves and stalks are turning brown.

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

Hedychium coronarium (Ginger lily)

A nice surprise during this garden wander was finding that rich orange hips have formed on Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’ along the western border.

Gardenia Hips -Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

Gardenia Hips -Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

Gardenia Hips -Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

Gardenia Hips -Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

Gardenia Hips -Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

Gardenia Hips -Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

Gardenia Hips -Gardenia jasminoides 'Chuck Hayes'

Gardenia Hips -Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

The sasanquas this year are as pretty as they have ever been. The red one is Camellia sasanqua ‘Yuletide’ but the name of the delicate pink and white one is unknown. They have grown up into each other over the years. The pink one was supposed to bloom in autumn and the Yuletide was to wait until winter, but obviously there can be a lot of variation. [Note: November 21, 2013-Thanks to Christina H. in Raleigh who identified the pink and white Camellia as ‘Hana-Jiman.’]

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

Camellia sasanqua

One last image for today is that of the Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’ I planted in April. This is a dwarf variety and maybe has managed to reach about 12 inches. It was touted as having nice fall foliage and it is beginning to display red stems and burgundy tinges on the leaves.

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Ruby Slippers'

Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’

What A Plant Knows

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

What A Plant Knows

Can we say that plants have senses? How do plants sense their environment and how do scientists study plant senses?

These are questions I am exploring for the next few weeks in a free, online class entitled What a Plant Knows (and other things you didn’t know about plants). The class is taught by Tel Aviv University Professor Daniel Chamovitz, who wrote a book by the same title.

The class began last week and I am enjoying it so much I wanted to mention it here. It is not too late to start the course, offered through Coursera, a company that offers massive open online courses (MOOCs).

Plant Swap

We finally had much-needed rain this past week and even now there is a fine mist. It is cool 68.7 °F and gray, the opposite of last weekend when we had clear blue sunny skies and temperatures in the high 80s. Last Sunday I helped with a neighborhood plant swap. It was heartening to see the turnout of people (including some children) interested in sharing plants with each other.

I shared Monarda, Hedychium coronarium, and Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ and in return, I could not resist some reblooming Irises of unknown color and a white peony, Paeonia Festiva Maxima. Today I found several rebloomers flowering in the garden.

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)  (bearded German Iris)

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris) (bearded German Iris)

Miscellany

The Swamp Sunflower continues to tower over the back border. Today it was covered with bees. On Thursday during a cold, heavy rain I spied a hummingbird stopping in to visit along the top of this plant. The hummingbirds are gone now and no more Monarchs ever showed up, just that one.

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

The Sedum gradually is turning brown now. The last time I photographed it a big grasshopper was sitting on it. No way to know if this is the same one but it looks completely cushioned by the tiny flowers.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude) and Differential grasshopper, Melanoplus differentialis

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude) and Differential grasshopper, Melanoplus differentialis

Several Sunday Blooms

Gradually the garden is coming into its own. The beds show less mulch and more green plant material. Near a group of Iris blooms Phlox divaricata (Eastern Blue Phlox), a North Carolina native plant.

Phlox divaricata (Eastern Blue Phlox)

Phlox divaricata (Eastern Blue Phlox)

The Jackmanii Clematis is very close to opening its first flower of the year. The vine looks healthy and strong, but needs a taller trellis to help it make its upward climb.

Clematis 'Jackmanii'

Clematis ‘Jackmanii’

A large stand of yellow Bearded Iris began blooming this past week. These were pass-alongs from a neighbor about thirty-five years ago. This group is nearly always the first of the bearded irises to flower.

German Bearded Iris

German Bearded Iris

 

German Bearded Iris

German Bearded Iris